Samuel Dash, Asst. Dist. Atty., Michael von Moschzisker, First Asst. Dist. Atty., and Richardson Dilworth, Dist. Atty., Philadelphia, for appellant.
Jacob Kossman, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Reno, Ross and Wright, JJ.
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 332]
A county detective swore out an information before Magistrate Myers charging Poley, appellee, with setting up and maintaining an illegal lottery and conspiracy to set up and maintain the same. The warrant issued thereon was not served upon Poley and he was not actually or manually arrested. According to the statement of his counsel, Poley appeared voluntarily*fn1 before the magistrate 'at Magistrate's Court No. 3, 1159
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 333]
South Twelfth Street',*fn2 where, after a hearing, he was held for trial in the quarter sessions court under $1,000 bail, which he entered. The four indictments subsequently found against him were quashed on the ground that the magistrate was without jurisdiction in that the preliminary hearing was held in his own court and not in a divisional police court. The Commonwealth appealed.
The Magistrates' Court Act of June 15, 1937, P.L. 1743, § 11, as amended, 42 P.S. § 1111, provides for the establishment of divisional police courts presided over by magistrates, rotatively assigned by the chief magistrate, 'in which, in addition to the hearings regularly held therein, shall be held exclusively (except as provided in Section 10 hereof*fn3) the hearings of all persons arrested on sight or on a police warrant for the following indictable offenses, that is to say: For treason, * * * keeping, setting up and maintaining lotteries, * * * pool selling and book making, * * * and also all conspiracies, * * * to commit any of the foregoing offenses, * * *.' (Emphasis added.)
Poley was not arrested on the warrant; he appeared voluntarily; and the Commonwealth advances the potent argument that he is not within the literal meaning of the explicit provision of the Act which requires that only the cases of 'persons arrested on sight or on a police warrant' be heard in the divisional police courts. Although this contention could justify a reversal, we prefer to rest the decision upon the broader and more vital issue of the jurisdiction of the magistrate,
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 334]
which the court below decided adversely to the contention of the Commonwealth.
Clearly, the magistrate was armed with complete jurisdiction. He had jurisdiction of the person, since he had issued a warrant upon an information and Poley had appeared voluntarily. He had jurisdiction of the subject matter, since the information charged a crime and as a justice of the peace ex officio (Act of May 10, 1927, P.L. 866, § 18, 42 P.S. § 1058*fn4) he was authorized to inquire into the facts to determine the existence of a prima facie case, require and accept bail or commit the accused. 1 Sadler, Criminal Procedure, (2nd Ed.) § 36. He was acting within his territorial jurisdiction, which extends throughout the City and County of ...